Marion and Meagan - a friendship forged through loss In the lead up to International Friendship Day on July 30 Meagan and Marion, who met at Sands when they were both volunteering for us have taken the time to talk to us about their beautiful, strong and enduring friendship. Meagan How did you become friends? Marion and I first became friends in the early 2000’s. Each month we met at SANDS when they were based at Auchenuflower to put the newsletter together. What are the three most important things that make your friendship what it is? An enduring and genuine friendship. A shared journey. Marion’s heartfelt determination to support parents who are bereaved, no matter where they are on their grief journey. I really admire Marion for this. What trait do you most admire in each other? A commitment to forever honour our babies. What’s your favourite memory of Marion? When I first met Marion I would take my children to Newsletter Day and she always made sure they were happy and would give them little jobs to do. They would have been toddlers. If you could give advice to people who want to help a friend through the loss of a baby or child what would it be? To listen whenever the bereaved parent needs to talk. Never say, it was meant to be, God needed another angel, well at least you can have another baby. Mention the baby’s name. It may make them cry, but at least you have acknowledged their existence. Crying is okay. What would you say to a someone who has just experienced the loss of a baby or child about reaching out to Sands (and Red Nose?) I’d offer information about the support Sands offers. I’d listen if they want to share their story and let them know how Sands were able to support me in the beginning. (If they want to know). Marion How did you become friends? I first met Meagan in the early 2000s at Sands events and volunteer days at Sands House, Auchenflower, Brisbane. My son, Peter John, was born and died on February 10 1960. I have been associated with Sands for the last 37 years. What are the three most important things that make your friendship what it is? Knowing that we have both shared the loss of our much loved and wanted babies. We both value the Sands philosophy and the parent support model of parents helping parents. Feel comfortable more relaxed talking with other bereaved parents about our precious babies. What trait do you most admire in each other? Nice friendly person. Easy to talk to. What’s your favourite memory of Meagan? Meagan attending Sands volunteer days and bringing along her mother and two young children. If you could give advice to people who want to help a friend through the loss of a baby or child what would it be? Be a good listener Be non-judgmental Don’t offer cliché comments. What would you say to a someone who has just experienced the loss of a baby or child about reaching out to Sands (and Red Nose?) Encourage them to come to a social gathering, volunteer day or support meeting to meet other like-minded parents where they can talk freely. This International Friendship Day to celebrate your friends who helped you through your grief you can order a customised tile. If you need help you can reach out to our 24/7 Support Line on 1300 308 307 or visit our support library.